Mid Year Wrap-Up: My Top 4 Reads Of 2021 So Far

Already this year I have read some amazing books and trying to pin down my favourites was quite hard. For this reason, this list is by no means in chronological order as I could not pick a definite favourite, but know that every book I have mentioned was given a five-star rating. 

This list was going to my top 5 however after starting I realised that I have only given four 5 star ratings so far this year – silly me. 

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

I put off reading this book for so long that it is actually one of the oldest on my Goodreads shelves. I’m a pro at putting of popular book as I get worried that they won’t live up to the hype and after really not liking Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone #2), I was extra worried. 

However, I really didn’t need to be. I was hooked on this book from the get-go and Kaz Brekker currently owns my whole heart, sorry Will Herondale. It really did not take long for me to get overly attached to these characters and I know I’m probably going to end up with a broken heart because I’m not stupid, I know authors like to rip our hearts out with big character deaths. 

This book had everything that I love; angsty romance, thrilling action and lovable characters. I honestly cannot recommend this book enough and even if you weren’t a huge fan of the Shadow and Bone series, I can promise you that Six of Crows was so much better. 

Goodreads synopsis: “Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist.

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.”

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours #2) by Cassandra Clare

It came as no surprise to me that I loved this book. It also had everything that I loved from Six of Crows; angsty romance, thrilling action and lovable characters. The angst in this book was astronomical and I NEED more. 

Cordelia Carstairs is still sitting at the very top of my favourite characters list and I don’t see her moving from that position any time soon. I just adore her and want nothing more than for her to be happy. Please let her be happy. 

I really don’t know what else to say about this book without giving too much of the plot away. I have found with this series that I struggle to put my love into words because it means so much more to me than the plot and the writing. That probably doesn’t make any sense because that it entirety what a book is made up of, but it makes sense to me. 

Obviously, this is the second book in the second book in the series so the synopsis below will spoil major parts of the first, so if you haven’t read Chain of Gold yet and plan to, skip to the next heading. 

Check out my full review of Chain of Iron here

Goodreads synopsis: “Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.”

A Trial of Sorcerers (A Trial of Sorcerers #1) by Elise Kova

*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for a review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thank you to Elise Kova.*

This was my first 5 star read this year and was also one of my most anticipated as I love the Air Awakens series. 

The further development of the Air Awakens world was really exciting and interesting to read. You get to learn a lot more about the different types of magic and Eira’s ice magic was beautiful. 

Don’t worry if you haven’t read the other series as this is just a spin off and it isn’t necessary to read them first. However, there will obviously be spoilers for the Air Awakens books, so if you do want to read those as well then make sure you get through them before starting A Trial of Sorcerers. 

Check out my full review of A Trial of Sorcerers here

Goodreads synopsis: “Ice is in her blood.

Eighteen-year-old Waterrunner Eira Landan lives her life in the shadows — the shadow of her older brother, of her magic’s whispers, and of the person she accidentally killed. She’s the most unwanted apprentice in the Tower of Sorcerers until the day she decides to step out and compete for a spot in the Tournament of Five Kingdoms.

Pitted against the best sorcerers in the Empire, Eira fights to be one of four champions. Excelling in the trials has its rewards. She’s invited to the royal court with the “Prince of the Tower,” discovers her rare talent for forbidden magic, and at midnight, Eira meets with a handsome elfin ambassador.

But, Eira soon learns, no reward is without risk. As she comes into the spotlight, so too do the skeletons of a past she hadn’t even realized was haunting her.

Eira went into the trials ready for a fight. Ready to win. She wasn’t ready for what it would cost her. No one expected the candidates might not make it out with their lives.” 

Spin The Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim 

*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for a review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thank you to Elizabeth Lim and Hodder & Stoughton.*

I absolutely loved this book. I thought it was so magical and all of the descriptions were stunning. The whole premise of this book was too good to pass up, so imagine my excitement when I really enjoyed it. Well, the excitement didn’t last too long as I didn’t really like the sequel, however, I am not talking about that book right now. 

I’ve always had an interest in costume design whether it be in TV shows or books and oh my did this book not disappoint on that front. The garments that were being created sounded so beautiful that I don;t think my imagination could do them justice. 

Spin The Dawn was a very strong start for the Blood of Stars series, however, I was disappointed that it did not continue in the same way. 

Check out my full review of Spin The Dawn here

Goodreads synopsis: “Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.”

Let me know your top 4 reads of 2021 so far!


Like this post? Why not read this one too: Book Review: This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron


  1. i did the same with six of crows. i put it off due to the hype and the fact that shadow and bone wasn’t that good. at least we were both pleasantly surprised!

    i’ve been meaning to read a trial of sorcerers. i’ve just started reading air awakens again (i never finished the series the first time), and i want to read all her books in order even though i know they’re not connected.

    • I’m glad you also liked Six of Crows! I was so annoyed at myself for putting it for so long because I really did love it.

      I absolutely loved the Air Awakens series and to this day it is one of my favourites. A Trial of Sorcerers is a great addition to that world and I’m now greatly anticipating its sequel. You’ll have to let me know what you think of it when you get a chance to read it!

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